Thomas was in the final season of a contract that paid him a little more than $6 million for 2017-18. He signed the deal while with the Boston Celtics, who traded him last Aug. 22 to the Cavaliers, who then dealt him to the Lakers on Feb. 8.Was there enough time in purple and gold to gauge Thomas’ value to the Lakers?Walton seemed to think so.“He was great,” he said. “What a tough player he is. Never complained. Every time I asked him how he was feeling, he said, ‘I feel great, coach.’ I told him if he ever needed practices off, take them, just let me know. He was in here every day doing his thing. He was in pain, had some discomfort. I didn’t know about it because he was always saying how good he felt.”Thomas averaged 15.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 5 assists in his short stint with the Lakers. His impact with the team went far behind mere statistics, however. He played a key leadership role despite starting only one game and playing a backup’s role for only the second time in his career. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORELegendary Mater Dei football coach Dick Coury dies at age 91 LOS ANGELES — Isaiah Thomas will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome right hip on Thursday, ending his injury-shortened season and perhaps his Lakers’ tenure, too. He played just 32 games in 2017-18, including 17 with the Lakers after a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers at the deadline last month.“We’re, obviously, hoping for a quick recovery for him and for him to get back and play at the level that he’s used to playing at,” Coach Luke Walton said after the team’s shootaround in preparation for Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center.Dr. Bryan Kelley was scheduled to perform the surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Kelley said in a statement that the procedure “would clean up the (hip) joint of all inflammatory debris related to his injury from last season.” Thomas was sidelined for eight months last year after an earlier surgery.Walton said the doors to the Lakers’ facility would be kept open for Thomas for as long as his recovery and rehabilitation require. The Lakers would like to re-sign Thomas to a free-agent contract, according to an ESPN report. “The things he does from a point guard’s position, where he’s constantly telling other guys on the court where to be, how to set the screen, which is valuable for young players who do that for you,” Walton said. “I was very pleased with the time he was with us this season.”Thomas’ ball handling and passing helped to enhance the play of several Lakers, including Julius Randle, who is on pace to establish a career high with an average of 16.2 points going into Wednesday’s contest against the Mavericks.“The team’s agenda always came first,” Walton said. “Him and Julius had a good connection going. I loved the banter between him and (Kyle Kuzma) out there on the floor. He was great. You could go down the line. He affected all the guys who played for us, the young guys, in a positive way.”Said Brandon Ingram of Thomas: “He’s been a really good leader for us. He’s kind of been our vocal guy going into every single game, every single day, giving us pieces of advice in how we can be better every single day and have a good mindset going into every single day.”MEDICAL UPDATESJosh Hart sat out for the 14th straight game Wednesday because of a fractured left hand, but Walton said he could be available to play Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center. … Alex Caruso joined the Lakers from their G League team, the South Bay Lakers. He cleared concussion protocol and was available to play against the Mavericks.Staff writer Bill Oram contributed to this report.